Do you have a love of animals and enjoy being around them? If so, then you may want to consider how to make money pet sitting.
The pet-sitting industry is booming with about 2 million people in America alone who are doing it on the side or as their full-time job. And there’s no reason why some of those jobs can’t be yours! You just need to know how to get started and what pitfalls await along your journey. In this guide, we’ll take a look at everything from what equipment you need to where to find clients – all essential information for making money pet sitting in 2022.
First, though, let’s answer the question.
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Can You Make Money Pet Sitting?
The answer is a resounding yes! The pet sitting business is a great way to make some extra cash, and it can even become your full-time job if you’re willing to put in the work.
What is Pet Sitting?
Pet sitting is a service whereby someone is hired to take care of animals in the owner’s absence. This could be feeding them, taking them on walks, playing with them, or just letting them out to use the bathroom.
The pet sitter may also stay in the home of the pet(s) they are watching or may come by once a day to check on them and refill their food and water bowls.
Who Can Benefit from Pet Sitting?
Many people can benefit from pet sitting services. Some of these include:
- Busy professionals who travel for work and don’t want to leave their furry friend at a kennel or with a family member they don’t trust
- Elderly citizens who can no longer take care of their pets and need someone to check in on them
- Families going on vacation and don’t want to leave their pet at a boarding facility
- People who have a new baby or are expecting and need someone to take care of their pet while they’re home with the newborn
What Kinds of Animals Can you Pet Sit?
Pretty much any type of animal can be pet-sat. The most common ones are dogs and cats, but people have also hired pet sitters to take care of rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, birds, and even turtles.
One thing to keep in mind is that different animals require different levels of care. For example, if you’re going to be pet sitting a dog, you’ll need to be prepared to walk them several times a day. Whereas if you’re watching a fish, all you’ll need to do is change their water and feed them once a day.
Where do Pet Sitters Work?
Most pet sitters work out of their homes. This is a great option because it allows you to watch the pets in the comfort of their own environment and also eliminates the need for you to have a lot of expensive equipment or supplies.
That said, some pet sitters do choose to go to the home of the client. If this is something you’re interested in doing, then be sure to ask your animal lover clients what their preferences are for this great gig.
How Much Can You Make Pet Sitting?
How much you make pet-sitting will vary depending on several factors, including:
- How many clients you have
- What animal services you offer
- The type of animals you’re watching
- Your geographical location
- The length of time you’re pet sitting
On average, though, most pet sitters make between $10 and $25 per hour as a side hustle. If you’re watching multiple animals for an extended period, you can charge more than this. And if you’re willing to go to clients’ homes, you can often charge a bit more as well.
How to Get Started in Your Pet Sitting Business
Now that you know a bit more about pet sitting, let’s take a look at how you can get started in your own business.
Get Some Training
The first step is to get some training. This could be through an online course, attending a seminar, or getting certified through an organization like the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). This organization offers a variety of resources, including certification, insurance, and marketing tools, that will help you get started in a pet sitting job.
Create a Pet Sitting Business Plan
The next step is to create a business plan. This document will outline your business goals, strategies, and methods for achieving them. It will also include information on things like your target market, pricing, and marketing tactics.
Your business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need specific software to figure it all out. You could even use the back of a napkin if you need to. However, having a well-thought-out business plan (that you understand) is important because it will help you stay on track and make sure your business is heading in the right direction.
Register Your Business
Once you have your training and business plan in place, the next step is to register your business. This can be done through your state’s Secretary of State website. You’ll need to provide some basic information about your business, including the name, address, and type of business. Usually, this process isn’t very expensive, and it’s important to do so to protect yourself and your business. This is especially true since you’ll be working with other people’s pets and you don’t want to be held liable if something goes wrong.
Set Up a Website and Social Media Pages
One of the best ways to market your pet sitting job is through your website and social media pages. This is where you can provide information about your services, pricing, and how to contact you. Plus, it’s a great way to show off your work and find other pet sitting jobs. Many pet sitters use social media to find new clients, so be sure to make the most of it. For example, you can use the following social media sites to highlight different aspects of your business:
- Instagram – use it to post photos of your work and of the pets you’ve been watching
- Facebook – post updates about your business, offer discounts to new clients, and run contests
- Twitter – share links to articles or blog posts about pet sitting, offer tips and advice, and answer questions from pet owner clients
- LinkedIn – connect with other professionals in the pet care industry, post job openings, and find repeat business
Before you start accepting clients, it’s important to buy insurance. This will protect you and your business in case something goes wrong. Every “real business” or professional pet sitter should have insurance, whether you’re working out of your own home or another house. It’s also a good idea to have liability insurance, which will cover any damages that might occur while you’re pet sitting. You can find insurance through organizations like NAPPS or Pet Sitters International (PSI). Be sure to shop around and compare rates to find the best deal for you.
Market Your Business
Now that you’re all set up, it’s time to start marketing your business. This could include things like:
- Creating a website and social media pages
- Developing a marketing strategy
- Running ads
- Networking with other pet professionals
- Participating in pet care events
- Creating a press kit
In addition, it’s always a good idea to start with friends and family. That’s because they’re more likely to trust you and are likely to refer you to their friends and family. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Provide a Great Service
Finally, the most important thing you can do is provide a great service. This means being reliable, taking care of the pets as if they were your own, and keeping communication open with the pet parents. By providing a great service, you’ll not only get repeat clients, but you’ll also start to build a reputation in the pet care industry.
Challenges of Being a Pet Sitter
Just like with any other business, some challenges come with being a pet sitter. Here are a few of the most common ones:
Finding New Clients
One of the biggest challenges for pet sitters is finding new clients. This can be especially difficult if you’re just starting out. However, by using social media, networking with other professionals, and participating in pet care events, you can increase your chances of finding new clients. And remember, the better service you provide to your existing customers, the more likely they’ll be to refer you to other potential customers. So be sure to focus on the customers you have before worrying too much about getting more.
Competing with Other Pet Sitters
Another challenge you might face is competing with other pet sitters. This could be because they’re offering lower rates, have more experience, or are located in a more popular area. However, by emphasizing the things that make your pet sitting side hustle unique, you can set yourself apart from the competition. Also, remember that there are millions of pets out there and millions of pet owners. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in 2017-2018 in the United States, there were:
- 76,811,305 pet dogs
- 58,385,725 pet cats
- 7,538,000 pet birds
- 1,914,394 pet horses
There are simply not enough pet sitters to care of that many animals. So don’t worry too much about competition.
As a pet sitter, you might also be responsible for handling emergencies. This could include anything from taking a pet to the vet to dealing with a lost dog. By having a plan in place for emergencies, you’ll be able to handle them quickly and efficiently. That plan should include a list of local vets, pet shelters, and other emergency services. In addition, it should lay out procedures that you would follow if an emergency were to take place so that you don’t even have to think about what to do.
Pet Sitter Insurance
An important topic to cover when writing about pet sitting is insurance. As a pet sitter, you’re likely to come into contact with other people’s pets, which could lead to injuries. It’s always a good idea to have insurance in case something happens. Pet sitter insurance can protect you from things like:
- Injury to a pet
- Injury to a person
- Damage to someone else’s property
- Liability for any other damages
By having pet sitter insurance, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’re covered in case something happens.
Tips and Tricks to Make Money Pet Sitting
Now that you know a little bit more about being a pet sitter, here are some tips and tricks for earning extra money from it:
Start Off Small
When you’re first starting to make money as a pet sitter, it’s a good idea to start small. This means taking on just a few clients at a time. That way, you can focus on providing great service to those clients and growing your business slowly. Starting small in pet sitting means only having a few clients, but it can also mean that you’re able to offer a more personal service.
Set Rates That Are Competitive
To attract more clients, you’ll need to set your rates at a competitive level. This doesn’t mean undercutting other pet sitters, but it does mean setting a price that is fair and reasonable. You can also offer discounts for repeat customers or multiple-pet households.
Network With Other Professionals
Networking with other professionals can be a great way to find new clients. This could include meeting with veterinarians, pet groomers, or pet store owners. By building relationships with these professionals, you’ll be able to increase the chances that they’ll refer their clients to you.
Participate in Pet Care Events
Another great way to find new clients is to participate in pet care events. This could include things like local pet expos or meet-ups. By meeting potential clients face-to-face, you’ll be able to sell them on the benefits of using your services. In addition, you can hand out promotional materials, such as business cards or flyers.
Offer Additional Services
In addition to pet sitting, you might also want to offer additional services. This could include things like being dog walker, feeding/watering pets while their owners are on vacation, giving pets medication, or taking pets to the vet. By offering a variety of services, you’ll be able to appeal to a wider range of owners who love pets.
Focus On a Specific Pet Type
If you have a lot of experience with a specific type of pet, such as dogs or cats, then focus on that type. This will allow you to become an expert on that particular pet and provide great service to those who own them. In addition, it can help to set you apart from other pet sitters. For example, you’d likely get more business if you advertised yourself specifically as a dog-sitting dog owner who loves dogs.
Make Money on the Side While Pet Sitting for Pet Owners
Speaking of offering additional services, if you want to expand your pet sitting business to other pet owners, you might want to think about offering those services on a part-time basis. This could include things like dog walking, pet sitting during the day, or feeding/watering pets while their owners are on vacation (and while still doing your pet sitter duties). By doing this, you’ll be able to make more money from pet sitting (like cat sitting or running your own doggy daycare) while still keeping your full-time gig.
The Pros and Cons of Being a Pet Sitter
Now that you know a little more about pet sitting, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of this type of business so that you know if it’s the right side hustle for you to start.
Pros of Pet Sitting
- You can work from your own home
- You can set your own hours
- You can choose the clients you work with
- You can earn a good income
- It’s a fun side hustle
- You get to be with pets/animals (which are often easier to deal with than humans)
- It’s relatively easy to get started pet sitting or pet watching
Cons of Pet Sitting
- It can be physically demanding
- You may come into contact with animals that are sick or have parasites
- You may be required to work odd hours
- It can be difficult to find pet sitting jobs in some areas
- You need to have pet sitter insurance good for your local area
- You have to love dogs (maybe even more than one dog), love cats, or just plain love animals
- Be willing to do your side hustle during busy times
Final Thoughts on Making Money Pet Sitting
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about making money pet sitting in 2022 if you love pets and are interested in earning money. As you can see, there are several ways that you can go about this, and each has its own set of pros and cons. Just be sure to weigh all your options before making a decision and start small to get a feel for the business. And who knows? Maybe in a few years, you’ll be able to turn your pet sitting business into a full-time gig making a full-time income.
FAQ – Make Money Pet Sitting
Can you really make money pet sitting?
Yes, pet sitting is a lucrative business. Many people are willing to pay good money for someone they trust to take care of their beloved pet while they’re away.
What kind of equipment do I need to start a pet sitting business?
There is no specific equipment you need to start a pet sitting business, but you will need to be comfortable caring for different types of animals. You’ll also want to have a reliable way to get around, as you may be visiting clients’ houses in different areas of town for overnight stays while house sitting.
What kind of marketing should I do for my pet sitting business?
There are many ways to market your pet sitting business and portray yourself as a good pet sitter to many pet owners. You can create a website or social media page, post flyers in local businesses, or put ads in the classified section of your local newspaper or online.
Are there any challenges I should expect with a pet sitting business?
Yes, one challenge you may face is finding enough clients to keep your business afloat. Another challenge is that it can be difficult to deal with unhappy customers who are unhappy with the care their pets received at your “doggy daycare.”
What are some of the benefits of owning a pet sitting business?
One benefit of owning a pet sitting side hustle is that you can set your own hours. You may also be able to charge more for your services than other pet sitters in your area. Additionally, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and form relationships with people from all over that love animals.
Can I leverage my pet sitting gig into other ways of earning money?
Yes, you can use your pet sitting business to earn money in other ways. For example, you could offer additional services such as dog walking, feeding/watering plants while clients are away, or picking up mail and newspapers. You could also choose to specialize in taking care of certain types of animals, such as large dogs, two cats, or horses to earn extra money.
Who pays for food while pet sitting?
The pet owner, of course! As the animal sitter, you are not responsible for the food or water that your furry friend consumes while you’re on the side hustle job. However, you may be asked to provide fresh water for the animal and change out the food bowl as needed.